By Zama Neff, director of Human Rights Watch’s Children’s Rights Division From girls in rural Afghanistan, to children in immigration detention on the US-Mexico border, to grandmothers fleeing war in Sri Lanka, throughout my career working on children’s rights, I’ve heard firsthand the importance that education has for families and their children, even in the […]
Children’s rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors, including their right to association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education, health care and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child’s civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child’s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion,disability, color, ethnicity, or other characteristics. Interpretations of children’s rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes “abuse” is a matter of debate.
Other definitions include the rights to care and nurturing.
The United Nations’ 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. Its implementation is monitored by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. National governments that ratify it commit themselves to protecting and ensuring children’s rights, and agree to hold themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community.
My concern is that no matter how many nations (over 190) have signed up for the CRC, children are still being beaten, humiliated, abused sexually and verbally, excluded and generally having a bad time, just trying to get some sort of education, no matter how poor the quality and how low their achievement at the end.
Where are their rights and where are the defenders of their rights?
check out the Human Rights Watch page on children’s rights:
Photography’s power to advocate for children and their rights:
Watch a presentation that celebrates and reflects on the role of photography in advocating for children’s rights.
For more information, visit: http://www.unicef.org/.
Please note that in some cases photography can intrude, humiliate and reduce dignity. Children are rarely asked if their pictures can be used for publicity. Things are changing and parents should now provide approval for images of their children to be used. However in emergency situations, this is often difficult. We have to trust UNICEF photographers that they will be sensitive to the rights of children to have privacy and dignity and not to produce images that could humiliate or intrude.
Take a look at the publications listed by the Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
Some child rights images from Steve McCurry
A new practical teaching/learning resource via Human Rights Education Association (HREA)
HREA announces the release of Human Total: A Violence Prevention Learning Resource, a new manual created by HREA, the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) and the Instituto Mexicano de Investigación Familia y de Población (IMIFAP).
“Adolescence is an ideal time to promote attitudes and behaviours that prevent interpersonal violence. Human Total is the first resource to blend life skills with human rights education” says HREA’s Founder and Senior Advisor, Felisa Tibbitts, who helped prepare the pilot draft of the manual.
Human Total will be a vital resource for students, educators and parents. Targeted towards young people between the ages of 10 and 14, the manual helps learners understand attitudes that promote violent behaviour (often brought about by the misuse of alcohol) by males and cultivates methods to minimise these behaviours’ harms and prevent their perpetuation.
Human Total contains 32 adaptable lesson plans, including ways to recognise and understand violence in social contexts and techniques for minimising violence through education about human rights and active participation in the community. The manual also features a note for facilitators on how to use it, tools for outreach to parents and guardians, recommendations for additional resources, and eight annexes with supplemental information. The resource was piloted in El Salvador and Kenya.
Human Total: A Violence Prevention Learning Resource is currently available in English and will soon be available in Spanish.
The UK chapter of Amnesty International has organised a
Are you interested in discussing children’s rights issues with other Amnesty supporters? Would you like to see how the network work on children’s rights abuses? Would you like more information on children’s rights campaigns?
- Visit the blog, a new forum for discussion on children’s rights and for updates on children’s rights
- Take action against children’s rights abuses by writing emails, letters and faxes from our actions page.
- For resources and materials on the latest in children’s rights work from other Amnesty sections and international organisations, please see the resources page.
And a resource for literacy:
|NEW LITERACY RESOURCE: THE POWER OF THE PEN
Engage students in literacy across the curriculum as they discover the power of writing letters for people whose rights and lives are at risk.
Download your free packAnd for Human Rights Education at Secondary level
From the latest INEE newsletter:
Training Module on Human Rights and Accountability
The INEE-Education Cluster Training Package contains a module on Human Rights and Accountability, which includes PowerPoint presentations, a facilitator’s guide, supplementary materials, and handouts. At the end of the session, participants will be aware of: (1) human rights as tools and frameworks for education in emergencies work; (2) key duty-bearers, necessary actions and lines of accountability; (3) scope and limitations of human rights work; and (4) various education actors’ roles in assisting key mandated human rights actors.
Based around the INEE Minimum Standards, this module encourages participants to reflect on strategies to ensure education activities that promote human rights.
Access the Training Module on Human Rights and Accountability here.
Human Rights must encompass science, of course, if only to safeguard humans and their rights in light of scientific applications such as the development and use of nuclear weapons and genetic modification.
Science and Human Rights: From SciDevNet
Promoting a human rights approach to S&T advances will reinforce moves towards inclusive development. But implementation challenges remain.
There was a time when debates on the links between science and human rights focused on the plight of individual scientists, and in particular on their rights — both as humans and as intellectuals — to the freedom of expression.
In the 1970s and 1980s, for example, dissident scientists such as the Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov became focal points for protests by the human rights movement in the West, keen to throw a spotlight on the harshness with which the government of the Soviet Union treated its critics.
Since then, the terrain of the science and human rights debate has expanded considerably. One direction has been the use of technology to provide evidence of human rights abuses — for example, the use by Amnesty International of sophisticated satellite imagery to document unlawful executions and the destruction of villages in conflicts in the Middle East and Sudan.
An equally significant trend, however, has been the growing interest in promoting the idea that enjoying the fruits of scientific knowledge is a basic human right, and in how this right can be implemented in the context of social and economic development.
Eyes on human rights
This week, we publish a series of articles highlighting emerging thinking about the potential impact of, and challenges faced by a human rights-based approach to the role of science in development.
In an overview article, S. Romi Mukherjee, senior lecturer at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and the University of Chicago Center in Paris, who was the editorial consultant on the project, outlines http://www.scidev.net/en/science-and-innovation-policy/linking-human-rights-science-and-development/editorials/science-and-human-rights-a-valuable-perspective.html a human rights-based approach intersects with debates over science and technology (S&T) and development.
In a complementary feature article, Jan Piotrowski talks to some of those who are seeking to implement this rights-based approach, particularly within UN agencies such as UNESCO and the Food and Agricultural Organization, as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
More from the same article….
From Human Rights Education Association (HREA)
April is Genocide Remembrance Month. The Crimes of War – Educator’s Guide provides rich content on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It consists of eight thematic chapters: weapons; violence against civilians; child soldiers; sexual violence; terrorism and torture; genocide; international courts and tribunals; and humanitarian intervention. The Educator’s Guide is intended for use in senior level high school classes, advanced placement classes and university classes. Learn more:http://www.hrea.org/crimesofwar
And some new resources have been added to their library:
* A Guide to Using the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa for Legal Action (Equality Now, 2011). Language(s): English, French. Keywords: guide, reference guide, judges, lawyers, NGO staff, female genital mutilation/female genital cutting, gender equality, reproductive health, sexual violence, violence against women, women’s human rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Optional Protocol to CEDAW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African Union (formerly Organisation of African Unity, OAU), Committee on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Africa.
* Capacity Assessment Manual for National Human Rights Institutions by Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, OHCHR, UNDP (Bangkok: Asia-Pacific Regional Centre United Nations Development Programme, 2011). Language(s): English. Keywords: manual, human rights-based approach (HRBA), national human rights institutions.
* Human Rights-Based Approaches to Development Education: A toolkit for activists in new EU member states (Minority Rights Group International, 2010). Language(s): English, Hungarian, Latvian, Polish, Slovak, Slovenian. Keywords: NGO staff, development education, human rights education, human rights-based approach (HRBA), Millennium Development Goals, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia.
* RIGHTS NOW: A Training Manual on ASEAN Human Rights Mechanisms (Bangkok: Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), 2011). Language(s): English. Keywords: reference, training manual, community leaders, NGO staff, children’s rights, migrant workers, women’s human rights, ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Southeast Asia.
* Training for Human Rights Educatin on Human Rights Clubs in Schools: Training Manual (Madurai: Institute of Human Rights Education, 2010). English. Keywords: training manual, trainers, secondary school, teacher training, training of trainers, children’s rights, human rights education, women’s human rights, India.
* UNHCR Protection Training Manual for European Border and Entry Officials (Geneva: UNHCR, 2011). Language(s): English. Keywords: training manual, government officials, law enforcement officials, NGO staff, asylum seekers, freedom of movement, migrant workers, refugee law, refugees, trafficking in persons, European Union.
* Women’s Rights in Muslim Communities: A Resource Guide for Human Rights Educators by Equitas and Direktorat Jenderal HAM Departemen Hukum Dan Hak Asasi Manusia (Montréal: Equitas, 2009). Language(s): English. Keywords: reference, trainers, equality before the law, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, gender equality, reproductive health, women’s human rights, Beijing Declaration on the Rights of Women, Convention on the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Indonesia.
Check out the site for yourself hrea
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws. Proclaiming the day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.
It is shameful that after decades of challenging racism that the football terraces are still the breeding ground for racism and intolerance (even catholics fighting with protestants). It seems that we have not evolved far enough for our brains to respond at such a primeval level.
“Overcoming racism compels us to address public policies and private attitudes that perpetuate it. On this International Day, I call on Member States, international and non-governmental organizations, the media, civil society and all individuals to engage meaningfully in the promotion of the International Year for People of African descent – and to work together against racism whenever and wherever it occurs.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Message for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2011
And a message from Canada
Resources listed by HREA
Racial and ethnic discrimination occur on a daily basis, hindering progress for millions of people around the world. Racism and intolerance can take various forms − from denying individuals the basic principles of equality to fuelling ethnic hatred that may lead to genocide − all of which can destroy lives and fracture communities.
Since the Sharpeville massacre, substantial progress has been made in the struggle against racism. The apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, has been established. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification. Yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings.
Source: United Nations
Selected learning materials
Learning Activities for Use With Young People to Explore the Issue of Discrimination
These five lesson activities, developed by Amnesty International, explore the issue of discrimination using discussion, group exercise, project work and a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The international basis for intercultural education including anti-racist and human rights education
The goal of this publication is to make international human rights treaties more known, particularly those that consider teaching and education as effective means to shape international human rights standards into reality.
The Struggle Against Discrimination: A Collection of International Instruments Adopted by the United Nations System (by UNESCO)
This collection of international instruments against discrimination consists of the full text of 27 treaties and declarations from the UN system, the International Labour Organisation and UNESCO. The book also includes two introductory essays.
United Nations Guide for Minorities
This guide has been prepared with a view to assisting minorities in understanding how to seek protection of their rights through the different procedures existing at the international and regional levels. Practical advice is also given on how to take legal action where members of minorities consider that their rights under a particular treaty have been violated.
Using the international human rights system to combat racial discrimination. A Handbook by Amnesty International
This handbook is intended to be of use to non-governmental organisations and others who wish to address and combat racial discrimination.
International and regional standards on combating racial discrimination:
Racism. Stop it! initiative (Canada)
Other resources on supporting diversity:
- Teacher’s Pack
Education in Emergencies used to be the forgotten dimension in emergency work as the immediate reaction was to deal with more structural dimensions of an emergency such as health, food , water and shelter. The work of INEE has changed all that and provided emergency teams with a comprehensive package of guidance ,developed by practitioners in the field.
INEE and the Global Education Cluster have added a new training module on Human Rights and Accountability to the Education in Emergencies harmonized training package.
The Human Rights and Accountability Training Module complements the rest of the training package by creating awareness around human rights and serving as a tool to achieve quality education and a life of dignity. The module includes a Powerpoint presentation, handouts, interactive dialogue sections and exercises to guide participants through the various steps of using Human Rights in their education work. Learning points include good practices to support rights-holders, as well as how to identify key duty-bearers and lines of accountability available to affected populations and education actors.
The module was developed for INEE and the IASC Education Cluster by Peter Hyll-Larsen andActionAid International – The Right to Education Project, in consultation with members of the Education Cluster Working Group and the INEE Working Group on Minimum Standards and INEE Tools. The Right to Education Project aims to promote social mobilisation and legal accountability by focusing on the legal challenges to the right to education.
Explore the Education in Emergencies Training Package!
The package contains the following 14 modules with presentations, facilitators’ guides and exercises, available on the INEE Toolkit. Modules on Youth, Gender and Inclusive Education are currently under development.
12. Risk Reduction
OTHER TRAINING AND CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES
E-learning Module on the INEE Minimum Standards: Learn more about the INEE Minimum Standards through the INEE e-learning module. The module employes a variety of resources and methods and uses the Darfur refugee crisis as an example to demonstrate how the INEE Minimum Standards can be used as a framework for designing quality education programmes in conflict-induced situations.
Training Adaptations: The Education in Emergencies Training Package has already been used in many contexts, and the training materials have been adapted to suit the context and participants’ needs for each training. The training adaptations are available on the INEE website. If you wish to share your training agenda and supporting materials, please contact email@example.com.
For more information and questions on the Education in Emergencies Training Package and capacity development initiatives of INEE and the Education Cluster, please firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.